The technicalities of dirty talk in an LDR
November 16, 2018 3:11 AM   Subscribe

I'm in a long-distance relationship and I'm uneasy about mixing my dirty chats, videos, pictures, etc with my "everyday" Google account, where so much of my identifiable life already lives. I'm looking for well-designed Mac and/or Android apps I can use to silo this sort of sensitive data. Should be encryptable and require a separate password (or, ideally, fingerprint authentication) to open the app itself.

I already use Signal and WhatsApp for ordinary messaging. (And also Hangouts, Slack, and FB Messenger, all of which are probably out of the question for other/obvious reasons.) No need to back up to the cloud, though if reasonably secure I suppose it'd be handy; it'd be nice to use cross-platform between phone and laptop, though I bet that's asking a lot given my other restrictions. Thanks!
posted by anonymous to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
It's not quite the model you're looking for, but Snapchat might work. By default, everything is deleted after it's been viewed, though if you want to keep a particular photo or video, you can add it to a special storage area called 'My Eyes Only' which is password protected. You can send texts, pictures, videos and leave audio recordings.

Ultimately, data does have a habit of leaking, so making it ephemeral might be the best way to ensure your naughtiness never goes beyond the intended target.
posted by Busy Old Fool at 4:55 AM on November 16, 2018 [3 favorites]

my wife and i use a program called couple that's designed for just two people. it works in a web browser on computers and as an app on android/ios. we use it for standard parent/couple type stuff but it looks like it'd work for your needs (dunno about encryptable)-

- it's possible to set a security password (and to change it to be different from your lockscreen password)

- you can take photos in the app and (at least on android) they do not get uploaded to google photos

- either person can delete anything at any time and it's gone from both people's phones (unless they saved/exported it from the application)
posted by noloveforned at 7:11 AM on November 16, 2018

if you're using android you can also easily create a second gmail account and have two independent profiles on your phone that would allow you to run whatever app you wanted separately.
posted by noloveforned at 8:41 AM on November 16, 2018
posted by standardasparagus at 8:48 AM on November 16, 2018

Why not just use Signal?

It's probably the most widely-used and well-regarded secure messaging system, it's developed by people in the privacy/crypto community (Moxie Marlinspike goes way back) rather than a corporation with mixed incentives, and the biggest criticism of it—that it's not anonymous, by design—doesn't really matter in your use case. Actually you are probably close to the ideal use case: two people who know each other already.

Signal does its own data-at-rest encryption if you set a separate application password. If you don't, then it relies on the phone's own data encryption (modern Android phones and iOS > 8 have it enabled by default). You can decide whether the additional layer of protection is worth the separate password. If you often hand your phone to people (kids, family, friends) who you don't want looking through your private stuff, then it might be worth it. If your phone is yours alone, I probably wouldn't bother, but it's obviously up to you.

There is no linkage between your Signal account and other other service, e.g. Facebook or Gmail.

About the only thing that I can think of that you might want, that Signal doesn't offer, is real-time video chat. This is available in public beta. I haven't used it, but if both parties enable it, and you have enough bandwidth, it should work. How it performs compared to competing systems like FaceTime would be interesting to see. (FWIW, it would be a pretty major scandal if Apple was actually recording and saving FaceTime conversations, so I think you are probably pretty safe using it, but again that's a personal decision based on your level of concern.)
posted by Kadin2048 at 9:08 AM on November 16, 2018 [6 favorites]

As noloveforned notes, Couple does exactly what you want, and works great.
posted by liquado at 12:02 PM on November 16, 2018

Not sure it quite fits the recommendations, but we tend to use google allo for that in incognito mode.
Then Whatsapp for normal conversations. It helps keep things separate.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 2:28 PM on November 16, 2018

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